There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll
I started Creativity Week off by putting my four year old daughter in charge. This was pure genius on my part. As a result I have been carefully watching my girl as she goes about her day. From the moment she wakes up her mind is concocting elaborate scenarios in which she flies, does magic, builds castles, morphs into a cat, birdie or Sasquatch. Nothing is beyond her reach. When I ask her if she really can do these fanciful things she usually responds with “I can do anything.” (Corollary to “I know everything!” which I explored over on The Everyday Mommy blog) , immediately eliminating any errant wisps of impossibility.
I asked her what impossible means. “Impossible means people don’t think they can do it. But they really can if they keep trying.” She followed up that inquiry with, “Do you know what exasperating is?” I replied, “What is exasperating?” to which she said “Let me show you.” She then spent some time struggling to poke a pipe cleaner through some particularly thick paper and declared “Doing this!” Then she followed up by asking me to help her.
She did not continue the conversation, instead she said, “I am making something new.” and went about gathering materials for some new invention. I like to think that by asking for help she was proving that her “exasperating thing” was possible. Immediately I began to wonder how many so called impossible things are really just exasperating, waiting for the right person to unlock the magic.
“To believe a thing impossible is to make it so.” ~French Proverb
“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.” ~G. M. Trevelyan
In the case of the four minute mile, that person was Roger Bannister. Before he came along in 1954 to reach that milestone, it was wildly believed the human body’s physiology wasn’t capable of such a feat. Claims abounded that a person’s heart would explode if pushed that hard. After he beat that previously believed impossible record dozens of people soon followed suit. The current record holder, Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, did it in 3:43.13. His record has been standing since 1999. Does this mean the new record is impossible or just exasperatingly difficult ?
I think I’ll side with my daughter on this one.She has some good company!
“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” ~Alexander the Great
- “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it” ~Chinese Proverb
- “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” ~Albert Camus
- “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” ~Bertrand Russell
- “Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” ~Robert A. Heinlein
- “The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” ~Robert Schuller
- “No one gets very far unless he accomplishes the impossible at least once a day.” ~Elbert Hubbard
- “The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.” ~Douglas Adams
- “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” ~Miguel de Cervantes
- “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~Walt Disney
- “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
- “Impossibility: a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.” ~Napoleon Boneparte
- “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.” ~Arthur C. Clarke
- “I have learned to use the word “impossible” with the greatest caution.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” ~Christopher Reeve
- “What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” ~Theodore Roethke
- Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” ~Marcus Aurelius
- “It always seems impossible until its done.” ~Nelson Mandela
What impossible dreams are you working on?